Early Season Power Rankings: Club Mixed

After a pair of important early tournaments — the US Open and the New York Invite — we are starting to see some shape to the 2014 Mixed Division. Here are the early power rankings. Note: This article was written prior to this weekend’s tournaments — some Bay Area teams now have results, which will be reflected in an updated rankings post later this week.

1. San Francisco Polar Bears: Polar Bears came out on top of the US Open with a win over reigning National champs, Drag’n Thrust. Though they faltered in pool play with losses to Minneapolis and Wild Card, they won out when it mattered. A revamped roster will only gain chemistry as the season progresses.

2. Minneapolis Drag’n Thrust: A second place finish at the US Open is disappointing for Drag’n Thrust, but they understand that the season is a marathon, not a sprint. At the 2013 US Open, Drag’n also fell to the Polar Bears. We all know how it ended when the teams got their rematch in October.

3. Iowa Chad Larson Experience: Chad looked good with a small roster at the NY Invite, handling their business in pool play, and taking down AMP and Slow White for the title. Ryan Tucker has helped open up an offense filled with female talent.

4. Boston Wild Card: Card hasn’t seemed to lose a step after a 4th place finish at Nationals last season. A reloaded roster with big new names in both genders may finally give this young team the regional title they’ve worked for.

5. Boston Slow White: Turning over almost half of their female roster, Slow White has quickly transitioned into playing with some new faces. With a strong core of returning males, anchored by Jeff Smith on the O-line, you can expect this team to be playing winning with the legs and depth deep into Sundays.

6. Philadelphia AMP: AMP will be the favorite out of the Mid-Atlantic yet again in 2014. 8-6 on the season, Philadelphia has beaten The Ghosts, Union, and Cahoots, while only losing to Drag’n Thrust, Wild Card, and Slow by a single goal. Nick Hirannet and Raha Mozaffari are a tough pair to cover.

7. Toronto Union: Union has shown the ability to play with the country’s top teams this season. They’ve taken down Wild Card and The Ghosts on two separate occasions and their only six losses are to the six teams ahead of them in the rankings. Though Montreal Odyssee may not come together for the series, Union has filled the Canadian void and will look to compete for a spot at Nationals.

8. San Francisco Mischief: After qualifying for quarters last season, Mischief is back and ready to take another step. Earning bids will be the key for the loaded Southwest. We’ll see them in their first action at Revolution this weekend.

9. Seattle The DOH Abides: With Mental Toss Flycoons shifting to the Open Division this season, the Northwest is DOH’s to lose. The young team will look to improve from their 11th place finish at the big show last season.

10. Boston Ghosts: Don’t be fooled by their shaky start. The Ghosts’ roster typically comes together for the series, though they still managed to play in close games at the US Open with just 13 bodies.

11. San Francisco Blackbird: The highest ranked team not to qualify for Nationals, Blackbird is hungry for a strong showing in 2014. Playing in the brutal Southwest region, they’ll have to grind to both earn a bid and fulfill it come regionals. Let’s see how they play without Brian Garcia, who transferred to Ironside.

12. Los Angeles 7Figures: Though they have yet to play this season, last club series highlighted the grit of this Los Angeles squad. At Regionals, they took down Groove to win their pool, and after losing to Polar Bears in semis, fought past Blackbird and American BBQ to take the region’s third bid.

13. San Francisco American BBQ: In 2013, prior to the series, ABBQ was 2-11. However, the spread of the eleven losses was an average of just over three points; the team scored eleven or more in seven of these contests. Look for ABBQ to rebound and gear up for regionals in 2014.

14. Asheville Cahoots: Interestingly, Cahoots finished 12th at Nationals despite not winning a game. However, they’ve already taken down two in their short season thus far. The rangy Timmy Murray was a standout player at the New York Invite, where Cahoots finished fourth.

15. San Francisco Groove: Groove was eliminated from Nationals contention just before the game-to-go last season. In a similar fashion, the team just missed out on earning the Southwest a valuable fourth (or fifth) bid. They should be in the mix for a strength bid again this season.

16. Austin Cosa Nostra: The Texas squad handled their business against the South Central last season. They’ll look to hold off Mesteno, RUA, Love Tractor, and the rest of the region for another bid to Nationals.

17. Columbus Santa Maria: A 9th place finish at NY Invite is deceiving. Santa Maria lost four pool games by a total of six points and could have been playing in the semis if a few things went their way. One-point losses to AMP and Slow White show their ceiling. Cassie Swafford and Paige Soper highlight their talented women.

18. Portland Engine 45: Engine 45 had a strong 2013, eventually losing to Mental Toss Flycoons in the semifinals of regionals. With MTF no longer competing in the Mixed Division, Engine will challenge DOH for the top spot in the region. Look for their first action at Colorado Cup in a few weeks.

19. Indianapolis Interrobang?!: Interrobang held the auto-bid for the Great Lakes but couldn’t close the deal at regionals. They’ll be back to challenge Santa Maria and Steamboat for the top spot again this year.

20. Atlanta Bucket: Bucket missed out on the National Championships by just two points last season. Without attending any TCT events they may struggle to earn themselves a strength bid for the region. Don’t be surprised to see them take the reigns on the region regardless.

21. New York 7 Express: After a 14th place finish at Nationals last season, 7x placed fifth at the New York Invite last weekend. Their core of New York Empire men return as the team hopes to earn a bid for the deep Northeast region.

22. Washington DC Ambiguous Grey: Ambiguous Grey finished 3-4 at New York Invite with close losses to Lions and 7 Express and wins over Santa Maria, SHUYAMOUF, and Steamboat. AG lost a handful of talented men from last season, including Calvin Oung, John Agan, and Knute Svenson. They’ll likely need to earn a second bid for the region or AMP will stand between them and a shot at Nationals.

23. New York SHUYAMOUF: Despite going 2-5 at New York Invite, SHUYAMOUF played very solid ultimate. One-point losses to Ambiguous, The Lions, and Santa Maria were all winnable games, and a three-point loss to Slow White proves that they can hang with the region’s best. New York Rumble players, Lucas Murphy, Joe Anderson, and Iggy Yz should anchor the New York squad this season.

24. Cincinnati Steamboat: Steamboat finished 8-0 at Cin City before going 2-5 at New York Invite. The team played close in all of their games in Middletown and they’ll look to defend the Great Lakes title in a few months.

25. Raleighwood: The South East group took down Cahoots twice last season as well as SHUYAMOUF and the Lions at Chesapeake. They beat Cahoots again at Summer Glazed Daze again a few weeks ago and should be in the mix for a bid to Nationals again this year.

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